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‘Rate of convictions cannot give confidence in the system’

The figures show that of the 385,000 burglaries reported in 2016, only 71,000 suspects were arrested – which led to a mere 10,000 convictions.

Statistician General Pali Lehohla. GCIS.

PRETORIA – Statistician General Pali Lehohla says a comparative study between the number of reported burglaries and the number of arrests or convictions demonstrates that the criminal justice system is dysfunctional.

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has released the report in Pretoria – showing the extent of burglaries and house robberies.

The report is an in-depth analysis of some of the findings of the victims of crime survey released earlier this year.

The figures show that of the 385,000 burglaries reported in 2016, only 71,000 suspects were arrested – which led to a mere 10,000 convictions.

Of the 110,000 reported house robberies – 20,000 suspects were arrested which led to just 4,500 convictions.

Lehohla says the system is simply not working.

“The rate of convictions, from experience, cannot give you confidence in the system. There is something wrong in the system, both for citizens and the system itself. It’s just dysfunctional.”

The figures show households in urban areas have a greater rate of reporting crime than those in rural areas.

Lehohla says while overall crime is decreasing the perception of crime is on the rise.

He says half of all reported crimes happen in a person’s home.

“Fifty percent of all criminal activities happen in a place that you call home.”

He says this inspires fear.

“From the reported crimes the number of crimes has decreased, but the perception – the overwhelming perception – is that crime has increased.”

Lehohla also says the figures show that men with greater levels of education are at higher risk of being victims of crime.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)